Night rain. A pleasant atmosphere for sleep but not for thinking, for it draws the gloom and hides the glorious thoughts, especially on the thirteenth floor of a hotel room at twelve midnight. Estelle settled herself cozily into the nook of her couch, wrapped in a fluffy white blanket, feet upon ottoman. She had the lights turned off except for the standing lamp and the overhead bedside lights. On the crystallized coffee table sat a lukewarm coffee cup of cocoa, 'The Tale of Two Cities' and her iPhone.
How long had she been allowed personal time? It had been way too long, with the restless and continuous stream of college social functions- birthday parties, dances, council meetings, college concert and dinner preparations, cocktail drinks, club nights, dates with girlfriends and some guys, baking fund raisers...and the like.
It was a wise decision to book her own room instead of sharing the penthouse with her seven other friends. Despite her sociable nature, she did not feel up to join in whatever unholy drunken surprise they might had in store.
Night rain...why did you fall today?
As if to reply, the skies and sceneries outside the foggy glass window darkened into choking black velvet. Estelle smiled and took a delicious sip of cocoa. Mmm...The strong, muddily, chocolaty manna from heaven.
Tick, tock, tick, tock.
The city, which was alive with invitingly bright neon lights, grew even darker and ominuous. Estelle blinked.
With each passing minute, the darkness consumed a bit more of the world outside her little sanctuary, the cheery lights dying a little more. Estelle blinked again and moved up from her nest of blankets towards the window. She placed a hand onto the ice cool glass glum reflection of her face and the dim room behind her appeared against the black backdrop, a faint outline of a portrait.
Night rain, this is getting unpleasant...
Then she saw it. Estelle gasped as she pressed her face onto the window.
The rain...it was black. The entire city was getting showered in black rain in the colour of poisonous ink. Black rain! The ugly droplets landed onto rooftops and neon signs, then slid off very slowly as if it were of a thick texture. And the roads, the shops, the pavements! Estelle's skin began to grow sickly goosebumps.
They were empty. Where did everyone go? My God...
She stared into the glass again, her reflection echoed the horror and confusion she wore on her face...then gradually and eeriely smiled.
Estelle stared into the dim reflection on the glass, hypnotized. Uncertain, she rubbed her eyes furiously and looked back, but it was still smiling. Everything, the background of her room, her clothes were the same, except for that smile. Estelle was not smiling. Her mouth is agape in fear. She could hear her heart thumping aloud in the silence and blood rushing through her tight veins. Blob-blob, blob-blob.
The face, which took up its own mind, looked serene and calm, like the visage of a saint. But it was Estelle's face, in her natural beauty of lush espresso hair, pale skin and red picture perfect lips. The reflection continued to smile as it began to uglify like the process of paint peeling off a wall. Dark hollows slowly painted themselves onto her eyes, her porcelain complexion split and tore with tiny clusters of cracks. Estelle could feel the temperature of the room dropping literally and suddenly, her finger joints ached violently from the sudden change.
Black tears started flowing out from her reflection's eyes. Those eyes grew venomous fire-engine red veins, its gory pupils so huge that the whites of the eyes were almost non- existent. And it was still smiling, the tears dripping onto her nose and lips and down to her chin.
"My face.." Estelle whimpered, her voice arrested in her throat.
Tick, tock, tick, tock.
The smile turned into a grin.
Estelle touched her cheek, dragging her thin fingers down her face. Wetness...she drew the fingers away and looked down at them.
She fell backwards shrieking in terror, scratching against the floor trying to crawl away from the face. The black tears kept flowing from her eyes, in larger and larger streams causing the sockets to injure and sting with pain. It felt like tiny floods of needles jabbing at them. Her heart raced. Subtle and dangerous, toxic fumes leaked from the air-conditioning into the enclosed room.
Estelle continued to yell and cry at the top of her voice as she clawed her black tear stained face and her head swinging from side to side like a broken mechanical doll with the socket pain intensifying, the temptation of digging her eyes out to end the misery dripped into her mind. Her body was trembling in a franctic and uncontrollable manner from the almost-refrigerator temperature, writhing and twisting. A pool formed at where she crouched, trailing as Estelle struggled away from the glass. The face was still watching, still grinning like the diabolical Chesire Cat, her tears still pouring endlessly.
The room was growing too cold that Estelle's toes and fingers were losing feel and failed to flex. It was all silent except for her anguished cries, the pitch painfully high. Thud! Her back hit the coffee table and she climbed onto it,drizzling it all over with black tears. She stared at the coffee cup of cocoa and wept panic.
The cocoa had turned into a sickly cup of more black tears, splashing from side to side onto the saucer; hoards of black ants rushing and escaping from it onto the table.
She screeched and fell sideways off the table onto the floor. Her skull plunged into a sharp object that was on the floor, but was numbed by the killing temperature. Estelle reached feebly to feel it.
Blood. Salty and watery blood. The impact zapped her nerves and the wound throobed, waves of pain from her diseased eyes still came and paralyzed her to the spine, but the toxic fumes somehow entered her system through her nostrills, confusing her senses and vision. Estelle felt her energy creeping away slowly and her limbs became heavy. Ants crawled all over her body with blood pooling under the punctured skull and her skin was red and icy from the freezing. Black tears still seeped from her burned eye sockets into her parted lips and soaked her clothes.
Estelle stared up blankly at the hospital white ceiling, her breath growing weaker and more strained. Her nose froze and the fumes were making her head swim. Drowsy and lethargic from struggles, her eyelids drooped and closed.
The grisly face, the hexed face of Estelle, never lost its smile, as if it took joy in watching the process of death. It accompanied her in the last moments and finally, faded away. Mysteriously, Estelle's body did not reflect in the glass.
I wrote this in a real hotel room...so you can imagine how creeped out I was to imagine all the details :P Anyway, this is intentioned as the prologue of a novella but still functions very well as a short story. Say, do you think I should continue it to chapter 1? :D